2016 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Blend

Year: 2016
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 99
Vinous Media: 95-98
Connoisseurs' Guide: 96
James Suckling: 98
Jeb Dunnuck: 96-98
Red Wine
Price :
$239.95

"This is laden with dark currant, blackberry and black cherry preserve flavors, infused gently with alder, incense and black tea notes, all carried by a long swath of fine-grained tannins. Hints of warm stone and tobacco gild the finish. Best from 2021 through 2035. -J.M" (WS)

"Bottled in January 2019, the 2016 Insignia is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is a little reticent to begin, needing a fair bit of coaxing to reveal beautifully beguiling notions of wild blueberries, warm blackberries, black currant cordial, cloves and cedar chest with nuances of camphor, yeast extract, charcuterie and candied violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic elegance and depth, revealing loads of subtle floral, black fruit and earthy layers with a firm, very finely grained texture and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length. 13,400 cases were made." (WA)

"Sweet, racy and perfumed, the 2016 Insignia captivates all the senses with its exceptional balance. In 2016, Insignia is poised and vibrant in the glass, with gorgeous balance of aromatics, fruit and structure. Succulent dark cherry, plum, lavender and menthol are all nicely delineated. Today, the 2016 offers the mid-weight structure of the 2014 with the depth and darker profile of the 2015, a combination that is incredibly appealing. All of that makes the 2016 Insignia one of the highlights in this tasting." (VM)

"We may well be accused of being monotonous and even a bit biased in the perennial praise that Insignia earns in these pages, but we would remind that we evaluate every wine blind, and, when all is said, tasted and done, Phelps's flagship bottling is special, very sophisticated stuff and once again claims a place at the very head of the class. It is complex, it is polished and it is extraordinarly deep with an unsurpassed fusion of fruity richness and grace, and if, as usual, it shows the integral tannins of a wine destined to be very long lived, those short on patience and used to savoring young Cabernets cannot fail to find it other than irresistible even now. Reviewed: December 2019" (CG)

"Lovely density and intensity with dark berries, blueberries and inky undertones with hints of spice, chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. The texture and length are fantastic here. Complex. Hints of smoky wood at the end. This needs three to five years more in bottle age. Exciting wine. Try after 2022." (JS)

"Not yet bottled, the 2016 Insignia should match – or exceed – the 2015, yet it shows a slightly more vibrant, cooler, more classic character. Vibrant notes of crème de cassis, violets, crushed rocks, and lead pencil all give way to a full-bodied 2016 that has silky tannins, no hard edges, and thrilling purity of fruit. It’s going to be reasonably approachable on release, yet I suspect won’t hit prime time until 4-5 years after the vintage and should cruise for 2-3 decades." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Winemaking Data:
Harvest Dates:
September 22 - October 13, 2016.

Blend:
84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 29% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 23% Suscol Vineyard (South Napa), 20% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District), 18% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District) and 10% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena).

Aging:
24 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain.

Winemaking Notes:
The 2016 Insignia is fresh and focused on entry with expressive cocoa powder, graphite and earthy spices. Elegant and complex with a supple, creamy texture and bold tannins, this latest vintage offers luscious ripe plum and blackberry character with hints of roasted coffee and dark cherry throughout the palate to a long, velvety finish.

Growing Season:
The 2016 Napa Valley growing season began with a mild winter resulting in early bud break for some blocks at the beginning of March. A normal period of bloom and veraison took place in early May and mid-July, respectively. The 2016 growing season was cooler compared to the previous three vintages, allowing for aromas and flavors to develop slowly in the red varieties yielding classic Cabernet Sauvignon from each of our vineyards.


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